Saturday, October 03, 2009

Emily's birth story

Here is Emily's birth story...

I had been having mild contractions every hour or so for a couple of days, so I was doing a lot of walking and bouncing on the birth ball to get things going. Then a couple of contractions closer together (7 mins apart) Wednesday night, then my water broke at midnight. That was a trip (it didn't break on its own with Matthew). Mom had arrived the day before to stay with Matty so we decided to head to the hospital before things got hairy. At that point the contractions were still mild, though the one I had while walking into the hospital I had to breathe through.

When we got to triage they had me change into a gown and we grabbed a bed. There wasn't anyone else there so we picked the one in the corner away from everyone. I gave the nurse my birth plan (which she very thoroughly read and totally respected the entire time) and I asked if they had a birthing ball. They had one, and it was free, so I got it. Woo! After the initial required 20 minute strip I was able to take off the monitors and just do my thing while we waited for a room. I got out my iPod, queued up the Hypnobirthing mp3s and bounced on the birth ball. It was great.

Meanwhile women had been streaming into triage in various stages of labour. The one next to me was freaking out, screaming, wailing, crying etc. They checked her and she was only 2 cms. I turned up my iPod and tuned them all out. I was totally just in my own zone. The nurse came to check me at one point (there was a room opening in a bit) and I was 4-5 cms. No worries. Things were good. Sean slept at my request since I didn't need him yet. wink

I basically just did that for a few hours. We got our room and took a belly picture blush Then I got back on the ball and kept the iPod going. The nurses basically ignored me (at my request) and Sean went back to sleep and I breathed. Because we had requested intermittent fetal monitoring, every once in a while the midwifery student who happened to be on that night came to check the baby's HR with the doppler. Every time she or another nurse did that, they'd look at me and say "Baby is happy!" Such a relief since Matty's HR was so yucky during labour.

So it ended up that I laboured almost entirely on my own. It was PERFECT for me and I didn't even know that's what I wanted. I just wanted to be able to close my eyes, shut everyone out, and breathe. And I did. We kept the lights low etc too so that helped.

At one point the contractions got HARD. The nurse asked if I wanted to be checked and they said I was a stretchy 8 cm but that the baby was still floating and needed to come down. I was happy to be at 8 but not sure if I could or wanted to keep labouring without drugs. Actually I knew I could do the contractions, it was the pushing without drugs that scared me. Anyway at this point I ditched the iPod and just tried to keep doing the Hypnobirthing stuff through the contractions and in between. I had to vocalize during the contractions, I was doing this low "ohhhhhhhhhhh" thing, no idea where it came from, somewhere inside me. It was sort-of automatic. It helped.

I felt like I needed to use the washroom, so I did a few times but the contractions were coming strong and right on top of each other. Then all of a sudden, I *really* had to push - it came on so suddenly that I yelled from the bathroom for Sean to get the nurse. Next contraction I WAS pushing - I couldn't help it. I started to panic a bit. Sean said to get on the bed & he buzzed the nurse. I got to the bed but could only get up on all fours before I was pushing again. It felt like the baby was going to come out and I was scared Sean would have to deliver her right then and there!

I know at this point I was screaming "I have to push! The baby is coming!!" And I was still on all fours. Sean and I were both wailing on the call button and I was screaming like a banshee. Sean says all of this took about 1 minute but it felt like an hour. Finally the doctor and three nurses RAN into the room and the doc said "Okay, you need to get on your back," but I felt like I couldn't move. Somehow got on my back and was still yelling "I need to push!!!" The doc said "You can go ahead and push." (not like I could control it anyway) and so I did, although I was a bit freaked out by how fast this was going. I had my eyes closed and grabbed Sean's hand and pushed. Two pushes and the doc said "Okay that's the hardest part over, now just breathe for me." so I panted. Her head was out, then a small push and the shoulders, then one more push and they plopped a baby onto my chest!! Relief! Honestly for a second I thought, 'Wait... That's the baby. She's out?' It was just so surreal!

So... miss Emily was born Sept 24 @ 7:32 am, 8lbs 2oz, and she is a gorgeous girl version of her brother. They totally respected all my birth plan wishes including delayed cord clamping. I had one small tear that needed 1 stitch, and that's IT! I feel fantastic!!

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